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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  May 29, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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lot of chutzpah. >> i will not seek a fifth congressional term. >> people are going to see a miracle. >> santa! >> this decision was not impacted by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign. >> i'm the original author of the bill to repeal obama care. >> before it literally kills women, kills children. >> little daughter took that vaccine, suffered from mental retardation thereafter. >> fight back against what most in the other party want to do. >> pay for someone to walk the president's dog? >> congresswoman, you're the one who brought it up. >> i've called out the muslim jihad terrorists for who they are. >> that's like the president of the titanic saying he's offended by the iceberg. >> there is no future option or opportunity that i won't be giving serious consideration.
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>> because he has a lot of chutzpah. ♪ good afternoon. it is a busy wednesday. and it's hard to know where to start. the president is just about to depart washington, bound for his hometown of chicago, where he'll attend the congressional democratic fund yn rairaiser th evening. more on the president's agenda and his critics coming up. eyes on the sky in the midwest where a massive tornado touched down tuesday in kansas, and forecasters warn of worsening conditions by the hour. and we'll bring you any developments as they happen. and are thoughtful and moderate republicans about to go the same way of the try ser tops? former minnesota governor tim pawlenty joins us just ahead. but we have to begin with a catastrophic blow to the tea party, to the industry of fact
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checking, and to comedy loving individuals everywhere. the announcement of minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann that she will not seek a fifth term in congress. now, i know what you're thinking. but it's not because of that federal investigation into her 2012 presidential campaign. >> rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff. >> no. nothing to do with the fbi recently joining the congressional ethics probe. pay no mind to the fact that miss bachmann just bought ad time and began airing a spot for her re-election campaign this month. and it's not because she faced the dire threat of losing a re-election in 2014. >> be assured, my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to congress.
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>> and i've never felt more assured in my life. but don't be fooled by the ambient music and soft lighting. miss bachmann is and always will be the culture warrior we've come to count on. fighting for what's right. far right. >> i proudly have and i promise you i will continue to fight to protect innocent human life, traditional marriage, family values, religious liberty and academic excellence. >> academic excellence. okay. whether it's revolutionary history or the causes of mental retardation, michelle bashme bas on it. if all that isn't enough, if you're still feeling anxious about the prospect of a post-bachmann political future, never fear. ms. bachmann has one more assurance for all of us. >> my future is full, it is limitless, and my passions for america will remain. and i want you to be assured
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that there is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that i won't be giving serious consideration. >> thank goodness for that. let's bring in our panel. lehigh university professor james peterson with us from bethlehem, pennsylvania. with us from the white house is msnbc contributor jonathan capehart, an opinion writer for the "washington post." jonathan, i wonder if you could dry your tears just for a few minutes, compose yourself at this difficult moment of deep grief. because clearly this is, perhaps, the saddest moment in recent congressional history. the news that michele bachmann is leaving the house of representatives. >> reporter: you know, martin, when i woke up this morning and saw the news that michele bachmann was quitting, she wasn't going to run for re-election, i thought, damn, what am i going to write about now? who am i going to write about? who's going to provide me with endless topics to write about
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and to criticize? but, you know, i'll say this much for congresswoman bachmann. she's only announced she's not running for re-election. she's not quitting halfway through her -- her term here. she's staying in until she's no longer congresswoman when she leaves in 2015. there's certain other people who occupy the far right wing of the republican party who have announced that they're quitting, but they left halfway through their first -- their first elective term as governor. >> i wonder who you could be referring to. professor, it's quite clear that ms. bachmann is leaving because her campaign is under investigation and because she realizes that she's likely to lose in 2014. and we know that these are the reasons for why she's leaving, because she herself is explicitly said that these are not the reasons. >> yeah. that's -- that's the irony of
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this particular political statement that she made, is that for every reason she said she was not going to do something is exactly the reason why she is doing it. she's under investigations from multiple agencies, multiple institutions around her re-election campaign as well as her presidential campaign. and she only barely won re-election, by the way. so eking out another win probably was not on the horizon for her in the future. and i bet dollars to doughnuts that people in her inner circle, martin, already have some information about whether or not the house ethics committee is going to have to take the next step on her investigations. so she's probably bowing out at a time where she can do so gracefully. jonathan in his piece today is absolutely right in the sense that for those of us who cover this kind of stuff, it is a little bit sad because of the kind of ridiculous statements that she would release on certain occasions. gave us great fodder for cable news. >> it certainly tid. jonathan, we haven't even mentioned that ms. bachmann released her retirement video while she is, at this very moment, in russia in part to
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investigate the boston bombing suspect, tamerlan tsarnaev. and she spoke to her work defending the homeland. take a listen. >> i've called out the muslim jihad terrorists for who they are. i've identified at the outset of the so-called arab spring this administration's foreign policy blunders. and how those blunders have contributed into turning the middle east into a devastating, evil, jihadist earthquake. >> so the seeking of democratic governance is an evil jihadist earthquake. at least we now know what it is, jonathan. >> uh, yeah. clearly she's forgotten that the people in the middle east, particularly in egypt and across the region, are pushing for self-determination, to be able to decide for themselves rather than, you know, living under autocratic governments. you know, this -- again, you mentioned congressman bachmann and her -- what's her -- not
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allegiance. but her desire, her interest in education. clearly, maybe when she leaves congress, she can take a step back and educate herself on a whole lot of things. >> yeah. professor peterson, speaking of her period in congress, she sponsored 58 bills. precisely one passed the house. she was never chair of either a subcommittee or a committee. she missed more than 10% of roll call votes. that's more than five times the congressional median. so being serious for a moment, how much did she actually commit to the business of being a congresswoman? >> this is what's also ironic. not by any standard would she be considered to be an outstanding legislator. but what she is, martin, is she's been a fire brand for the tea party. she's been a mouthpiece for some of the extreme right philosophies and ideologies. and she's been able to make some pretty serious interventions in terms of the presidential
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election and just having that national spotlight sort of turned on her to espouse the viewpoints of what we think of as the sort of far right wing tea party controlled wing of the republican party. >> jonathan, we should remember that ms. bachmann also raised the alarm that hillary clinton's personal adviser, huma aboudine could be linked to the muslim brotherhood. she told us of that and other conspiracy. will her legacy frankly be one of lies and laughter? >> yes, quite frankly. whether it's the smear against huma abedin. which she should have known better. she and other members of congress signed a letter asking that huma be investigated. from that to saying our founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery. what michele bachmann has done throughout her entire career is, yes, spread lies and laughter
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and miseducation. and sort of showed how, you know, just because you're a member of congress doesn't mean you know much of anything. and, unfortunately for michele bachmann and other members of congress who get to capitol hill, for them it's a license and excuse to continue to not know anything and to continue to wallow in their ignorance. >> of course, there is the great appointment by speaker boehner of ms. bachmann to the intelligence committee. jonathan capehart and professor james peterson, thank you both. we'll have more on what the bachmann resignation may mean for the tea party later in the broadcast. but first, desperately seeking moderation. what is a politician in the private sector to do? we'll ask former presidential candidate tim pawlenty, just in a moment. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor.
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michele bachmann's departure may represent a blessing in disguise for the gop. she's one nightmare for the reince pre biebus and the party cope with. she has conspiracy theories that threaten to permanently sideline the republican party. >> we know that people are now being trained to come in and act like hispanic when they're radical islamists. >> they are in the process of seeking to establish another monolithic voting block. that's why they spent tens of millions calling republicans racists. >> i'm quite worried about the privacy of medical records. i'm quite worried that your medical records now will be evaluated by the irs. >> joining us now is tim pawlenty, a former minnesota governor and presidential candidate who now serves as ceo
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of the financial services round table. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon, martin sfwl it's a delight to have you. i want to get to your new job and dodd/frank in a moment. first, can i play something you said just after the election? take a listen. >> i don't think -- i don't think it's a matter of people looking at the election and saying i'm going to vote because of, you know, gifts. i think they looked at it and said which one of these candidates would they prefer because the leadership considerations and also can understand their needs the best. >> sir, that was a typically gracious response by you. but you just heard a compilation of things being said by republican members of the house over the last few weeks. do you think the gop is on its way to being able to say that it now understands voters' needs better? >> well, if not, martin, they'll continue to lose elections. and then, of course, they'll adjust over time. i hope that message is absorbed and owned earlier. of course, if you offer a product in the marketplace, and
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elections are a marketplace measure, and you're not selling your product, you either need to get better marketing or a better product. that's the inflection point the republican party is at. if you look at future faces and voices of the republican party, people like governor suzanne na martinez in new mexico and marco rubio in florida, chris christie in new jersey, paul ryan in wisconsin and others, these are faces and voices of people who not only have good policy positions but resonate, i think, better with every yn day people. >> okay. we'll come to paul ryan on another occasion. you were described as a thoughtful and decent man by the economist magazine when they looked at the presidential campaign. but when you reflect personally on people like those you just heard, on people like todd aiken, speaking about rape as if he's asking for the time of day, or michele bachmann demanding impeachment of the president every weekend, or even your friend mitt romney caught on tape referring to half the population as feckless
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freeloaders, does it concern you that thoughtful and decent no longer describe so many people within the party that you love and have served for so many years? >> well, look, in both parties there's always some folks who -- >> let's focus on your party if we may, sir. >> okay. but to be fair, martin, there's also an analog on the left where people who are viewed as perhaps more on the outer edges of the party say things that are odd or unusual or noteworthy and it lights up the blogs or cable tv for the day. let's be fair. it goes on on both sides. but my hope for the republican party is it remains a mainstream conservative party in the tradition of ronald reagan. that means, yes, we're strong in our views and values. we don't flinch from that. but you're also presented in a hopeful, positive, civil and decent tone. i think ronald reagan tonally and personally and stylistically encapsulated that brilliantly. by the way will go down in history as one of the best presidents the country's ever had. >> of course. now, you head the financial services round table, which represents bank interests in
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washington. let me show you some too big to fathom numbers from the federal reserve. in 2006 the five biggest banks held 43% of total u.s. banking assets. by 2011 that number was almost 56%. haven't we let too big to fail frankly get worse? >> well, there shouldn't be anything as too big to fail, martin. no institution, whether it's a big bank or a big anything, should be too big to fail. if you're an organization and you have financial problems at the level of bankruptcy, you should fail. so as applied to banks, there should be a mechanism for sure for them to fail. you just need to make sure that as you unwind a bank, you don't set off a panic. because if you declare bankruptcy on friday, you're going to have a big run on a bank on monday morning. so you need to do this in a thoughtful, measured way. but none of -- i certainly don't believe, and none of my members believe, there should even be such a thing as too big to fail. >> right. >> big institutions should be allowed to fail. >> in just the last year, sir, we've had major international
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banks involved in foreclosure fraud. money laundering. rate fixing. particularly in bondlondon as y know. isn't that an indication that the current regulations are just not effective? >> well, the current regulations have been thrown out in the form of the new regulations. and the ink isn't even dry on those yet. so as you look back, there was really bad and stupid behavior by a lot of players leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. by the way, including government, and not limited to financial institutions, a lot of the players that were involved weren't even banks, by the way. but now we have a new set of rules. it's loosely, broadly described as dodd/frank. it purports to address many of these problems. and by the way the leading regulators have said if it doesn't go far enough they'll add some more. but i think before you pile on further than what we've already done, you should understand the trade-offs involved as you heap on to these institutions. it limits their ability to lend, which limits economic growth. >> okay.
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finally and briefly, and i'm afraid we have run out of time. i wish we had more time to discuss a range of issues with you. but there will now be an open seat in minnesota's sixth district. as you know, a former governor has already won a congressional seat in this period. any interest in that seat of michele bachmann's? >> no, sir. i've taken myself out of the running for 2014. i don't even live in that district. but i know you poke fun at congresswoman bachmann, but i think on a day where somebody announces their retirement, whether you agree or disagree with their policies, style or approach, i think you can say, you know what, we at least appreciate public service and people being in the arena. tip of the cap for that. >> we absolutely do. >> for you it's been good ratings on top of it. >> thank you very much. tim pawlenty, do join us again. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you, sir. next, what's in a name? we'll explain this controversy and how it goes well beyond the washington redskins. stay with us. ♪
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the washington redskins remain one of the proud franchises of the nfl. despite a team name that has provoked criticism for quite some time. the controversy has flared in the past 24 hours after ten members of congress sent a letter to redskins owner dan snyder and nfl commissioner roger goodell imploring a name change. native americans throughout the country consider the term redskin a racial, derogatory slur akin to the "n" word among african-americans or the "w" word among latinos, says the letter. interesting the same group attempted to introduce legislation in the past. that went nowhere. for his part, mr. snyder is defiant, saying the organization will never change the team's name. advising a reporter to use all capital letters for the word "never." but while his belligerence and
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this con ttroversy continues to grab the headlines, we wanted to call your attention to another story that's just as offensive to native americans but doesn't have the -- of an nfl franchise. consider the results of the sequester which took direct aim at the indian health service within health and human services that provides basic health care to some 2 million american indians. in addition some $60 million was cut from american indian schools, house wk jobs, energy assistance, programs for the native population, all in the sequester cross hairs. while we debate the decency of a football team name, let's not forget the brutal hits that that community has already taken far away from the field of play. what do you think? weigh in on twitter @bashirlive. or on facebook. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming
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up. >> i listen to contemporary christian music primarily. but i also love classics. i know this sounds really boring but i listen to handles messiah is my favorite. i love the messiah. i love anything by bach. i'm a bach fan. it's not because my name is bachmann. [ female announcer ] doctors trust calcium plus vitamin d to support strong bones. and the brand most recommended by... my doctor. my gynecologist. my pharmacist. citracal. citracal. [ female announcer ] you trust your doctor. doctors trust citracal.
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>> there's no wrong play in that. >> i will not seek a fifth congressional term. >> fight back against what most in the other party want to do to transform our country. >> the incredible warmth of the reception. a sign of the warmth is the lipstick on my collar. >> he is disconnected with the leadership and lost focus in terms of what he should be doing. >> that's because he's running for office. >> obama has money. governor christie wants the money. it's a master/servant relationship. >> i've always strived to be first and foremost, a public servant. >> republicans, democrats, independents, we all came together. >> never ak wee yes, sir to being a political servant. >> the original offer of the bill to appeal obama care. >> you started the congressional tea party caucus. >> i did. >> the president does this big,
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oh, woe is me. >> how has the tea party changed the republican party? >> it has been suggested we are wacko birds. >> i think in a good way. >> there may be more wacko birds than is suspected. >> let's get right to our panel. democratic strategist angela rye joins us in washington. and here with me in new york is my colleague and the co-host of "the cycle" krystal ball. krystal, there you had it. michele bachmann, chair of the congressional tea party caucus will not run for re-election. the first question, who has the lord ordained to take over as the leader of the tea party. >> well, i would say if you're looking for that bachmannesque mix of willful lack of -- >> lunacy? lying? >> yes. conspiracy theories, all of the above, i would submit that loui gohmert of texas is a potentialpotential ly good choice. >> he is certainly in the leading back. there are some running pretty close. what's the gentleman from iowa
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called? >> steve king? >> steve king is another good one. >> he's a good one. >> there's a lot of good choices out there. i will say one thing that's interesting about michelle barkman moving on is she really never had that sort of establishment, institutional support, right? she was a tea party candidate. she demonstrated that you could raise a whole lot of money being this sort of tea party, ideological star. but once your star fades, where does that leave you? obviously it wasn't enough to run a credible presidential campaign. wasn't enough to ultimately -- it didn't look good for her holding on to her seat. which is quite a republican seat. so it shows the limits of that approach of sort of celebrity politician outsider, anti-establishment candidate. >> right. angela, earlier today a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 25 tea party and conservative organizations against the irs. in the aftermath of the irs scandal, it actually seemed there was a hint of sympathy for tea party groups who'd been targeted. but with the imminent loss of
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one of their biggest stars and, more importantly, one of their biggest fundraisers, is the tea party movement once again in some difficulties? >> no. i think, martin, they have a ton of other folks who are just as willing to spew out conspiracy theories for the sake of taking the country back from home, is a question i think we really need to start asking. but i don't think they'll be at much risk. there are folks that continue to believe that the constitution is in some grave jeopardy. that they need to continue to fight for fiscal solvency and the other things that they use as detractors. and then you have to wonder who will take her place in, you know, creating the opportunity for the 38th vote to repeal obama care in the house as well as maybe who will break now the guinness book of world records for the most number of pinocchios on politofact. >> that's very, very good. i love the way you put that, angela. krystal, ted cruz, he is going
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to be speaking in new york tonight. peter king says he's not going to attend because he voted against hurricane sandy relief. isn't ted cruz actually as extreme philosophically, but more dangerous, because he's much more central within the republican party? >> he is trying to actually use the sort of mechanisms of power that exist to go through the established channels. and i think you're right. i think he is more dangerous. i think he has a broader chance of -- of getting that libertarian support that, say, rand paul is also courting. and trying to do it in more of a mainstream way, even though his views are just as ideological and just as out there as michele bachmann's. >> but he's also causing trouble within the republican party with people like john mccain calling him a wacko bird and not liking him and not feeling he's working particularly on the issue of the budget. so cruz, why he espouses many of the philosophical positions that michele bachmann does, is actually potentially more
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problematic going forward, isn't he? >> well, and i think there is, perhaps, less tolerance within the republican party for a senator who is as extreme and as ideological as ted cruz is. in the house there's a sense of, well, we've got a lot of house members. she's just one of them. in the senate someone like john mccain who's been there a long time and takes the institution seriously has a deeper sense of -- of responsibility when someone is so far out on the wings as ted cruz is there. >> what's your view, angela, of mr. cruz? >> ted cruz is a huge challenge. again, when you think about what he came in with, he created a great number of problems with the republican folks that have been there for a long time. on both sides of the aisle he was criticized, whether it was for trying to get attention too quickly by any means necessary, or for whatever other reason. ted cruz caused a number of problems both in hearings, both on the senate floor, and behind closed doors. >> okay. speaking of the future of the gop, we can't ignore governor chris christie who once again
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spent some time earlier this week with his closest friend, the president. but is governor christie's bipartisan approach and geniality towards the president, i start with you, angela, the very thing that will prevent him from ever becoming a darling of the tea party? >> i think a darling of the tea party, yes. but as soon as the republican party, and i'm saying that, you know, being very hopeful and optimistic, as soon as they can realize that bipartisanship is the way to solve not only this country's woes, but also their own, i think that they'll see that chris christie is a great ally for them. but in the meantime and in between time, all their focus on the bromance and the way in which they make fun of him trying to get relief for an area so severely impacted within his state, i think they're so off base and it's really unfortunate. they've really got to get it together, martin. >> chris christie? >> chris christie, really he sort of was a darling of the tea party when he was best known for yelling at unionized teachers sf.
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>> and when he canceled the rail project because he said there wasn't enough funds for it. >> they loved it then. i would say when he gets re-elected in new jersey this year, likely to happen, he will probably go back to some of those more conservative leaning tendencies. and i think they like his tone. i think they like the fact they can see him sticking it to the president or sticking it to any democrat. and when he comes back out with that, i think conservatives will fall back in love with chris christie is my prediction. >> indeed. democratic strategist angela rye and krystal ball, thank you both for your great insight. coming up, it's the mad science of the national debt. we'll explain, straight ahead.
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what do our members believe is necessary in order to allow them to vote yes on increasing the debt limit? >> washington may be heading for another epic showdown over raising the debt limit. but house speaker john boehner,
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as you can see, isn't fazed at all. he's already pass add bill which would allow the united states to keep paying the interest on its debt even while virtually every other government priority would not be financed. so the chinese government would get paid, but veterans and the elderly in this country would not. that sounds about right, doesn't it? let's bring in "rolling stones" matt taibbi who writes about this in the latest issue. in your article you write about the speaker's full faith and credit act which i was just referring to. take a listen. >> i think doing a debt prioritization bill makes it clear to bondholders we're going to meet our obligations. >> doesn't it mean as democrats have suggested you're basically choosing to pay china before you pay u.s. troops? >> listen, those -- those who have loaned us money, like in any other proceeding, if you will, court proceeding, the bondholders usually get paid first. same thing here. >> matt, he admits it.
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>> what's so funny about this is the sort of happen hazard way with which they're coming up with these ideas. two years ago they sort of settle on this idea that we're not going to raise the debt ceiling again. we're willing to crash the national debt. we're willing to go to a default. we have senators like tom coburn saying this would be a wonderful experiment to see what happens if we don't pay our bills, we default. and then two years later they realize, like, that's not such a good idea. and they walk it back by coming up with this next piece of legislation, which is we'll pay our bondholders first, so that way we won't default. but we still won't raise the debt ceiling. now you point out to them you'd be paying the chinese people before social security, and i'm sure they'll come up with another bill to fix that. >> in your piece you say today's republicans spent the. bm years predicting the imminent arrival of a giant smashing asteroid.
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-- it's hard not to admire the -- >> it's true. >> how can you admire the balls, seriously, when you see the impact this has on so many people in this nation. >> no. obviously it's not funny. within the beltway, people think of it as a tremendous -- after the initial election of barack obama, and this game the galvanizing issue for the entire republican party. the problem is that it's based upon all sorts of assumptions and nonfacts that end up, you know, they end up driving themselves into rhetorical dead ends that they have to crawl out of with ridiculous moves like this full faith and credit act. >> right. also in the article you say that speaker boehner is, i'm quoting you, fast becoming the pope of the blossoming new national church of budgetary misunderstanding. you lay the blame on him. but isn't it his caucus?
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isn't it basically his caucus that kicks him around as speaker? he has no power to do anything. he can't put anything on the floor of the house. >> no, of course. i'm just shooting the messenger like everybody else is here. i think he's in a difficult position, boehner. obviously, before this particular iteration of his career was kind of a bipartisan, typical house member who hashed out budgets and raised debt ceilings and never seemed to have a problem doing it before. now all the sudden it's the driving ideological concern of his life. and, you know, he's just a politician trying to earn a check. it's really, as you say, it's his caucus and his constituency which is driving this craziness. >> just a final question and briefly. instead of idiotic bills like that one, wouldn't they be better to go after the something like $1.9 trillion in offshore profits of businesses that people like apple's tim cook and various others stash overseas and protect away from the treasury here? >> absolutely. there's so many different things
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they could do to try to fix the revenue problem. and the re -- or the nonrepatriation of offshore profits has been a huge issue for years. the only thing they've done to even think about addressing that is consider doing another tax holiday for these companies. which is driving these companies to keep more profits offshore. which is crazy. >> matt taibbi of "rolling stone." it's a fantastic article as always. coming up, the president in the air. heading home to chicago. and critics who want anything but a warm welcome. stay with us. we all have one. that perfect spot. a special place we go to smooth out the ripples of the day. it might be off a dock or on a boat. upstream or in the middle of nowhere. wherever it may be, casting a line in the clear, fresh waters of michigan lets us leave anything weighing us down back on shore. our perfect spot is calling.
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right now the president is flying aboard air force one enroute from the white house to chicago. the excursion comes as republicans are turning up the heat on attorney general eric
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holder under new pressure of the justice department's investigation of a fox news reporter. joining us now is kristen welker who's in chicago. and is doing her part-time job as white house correspondent instead of her full time job as anchor of "the daily rundown." kristen, house republicans are saying attorney general holder, that he misled them about his role in the investigation of fox reporter james rosen. press secretary jay carney was asked if the president still stands by mr. holder. i'd like you to take a listen to what he said. >> every published report that i've read about the case in question says that it's completed, no further charges or prosecution is contemplated. >> is eric holder, kristen, in danger of losing his job? >> well, martin, there's no indication that eric holder is thinking about stepping down. there's no indication that the president is going to ask him to step down. in fact, press secretary jay carney reiterated that the
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president does have complete confidence in the attorney general during his daily briefing today. however, i would also point out that the president is clearly putting a little bit of distance between himself and the actions of the attorney general. he ordered him to conduct a 45-day review. he also ordered him to meet with media outlets. that's going to happen this week, by the way. bureau chiefs including nbc news will be attending meetings with the attorney general to discuss his guidelines and the way in which issuing subpoenas of journalists is handled. so there's clearly some distance that is being put between the president and the attorney general. compare that, for example, martin, to the fast and furious investigation. that was another instance of the attorney general getting a lot of attention. of course, the circumstances and the details were different. we should point that out. but you didn't see any distance between the white house and the attorney general back then. in this case, there is a ti difference. there's a marked tone in terms of how the white house is
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proceeding here. but, again, no indication that the attorney general is going to leave any time soon, martin. >> okay. switching gears for a second, kristen, what about this report which says that the white house ordered the pentagon to create a plan, just a plan, for a no-fly zone in syria? what are your sources telling you about that? >> right. well, i've been speaking to my sources since yesterday about that, martin. and they tell me that, look, there's nothing really new in this report. that for the past 18 or 20 months or so the president has directed the pentagon to essentially prepare a number of options including a no-fly zone, including arming the rebels. and that at this point in time, he is not prepared to take action in any of those directions. what is different, though, martin, is that the pressure is mounting on the administration to do something. that is in part because of the sheer numbers. at least 80,000 people have been kimmed at this point in time. more than 1 million refugees. the violence has spilled over into neighboring countries, including lebanon. and as we have reported widely
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now, senator john mccain visited syria earlier this week. he met with opposition leaders. those leaders urging the president to give them arms. so we are expecting to hear from senator john mccain in the coming days. but certainly that is adding to the pressure on this administration to take some sort of action. martin? >> kristen welker in chicago. kristen, thank you so much. joining us now for more analysis is democratic strategist julian epstein. julian, the white house is saying the attorney general testified honestly about his role in the james rosen investigation. why do republicans on the house judiciary committee feel that they have reason to doubt that? >> these are incredibly reckless allegations that are being made by members of the house judiciary committee. eric holder is in as strong a position as he ever has been inside the administration. just consider that this is the same republican party that was unable to get osama bin laden, that wants to make it easier for
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terrorists to get semiautomatic weapons. who are now criticizing this administration for taking too strong a position on national security. the case involves, and it's very important for your viewers to understand, the case involves a source that we had inside north korea that was giving us critical information about the north korean's nuclear plans. a federal judge found that the state department employee, there was probable cause that the state department employee was leaking that critical national security information to news reporters. one of the worst crimes you can commit against this country. and a federal judge authorized the justice department to get the e-mails from that state department employee, including the e-mails that went between the state department employee and mr. rosen at fox news. >> right. >> the justice department never indicated in any way, fully consistent with what mr. holder said, that they were going to prosecute the fox news reporter. they said that they were going to prosecute the state department employee. that's all that they have done. the only issue, really, is an fbi affidavit from an fbi investigator that named mr. rosen as a potential
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co-conspirator. that may be of -- i think that was going too far. i think the justice department made a mistake there. they shouldn't have named rosen as a co-conspirator. that doesn't contradict in any way what mr. holder said which is that there were no plans he knew of and it would be news to him for a news reporter to be prosecuted. and that's exactly what the justice department is doing. >> julian, is there a problem with the testimony that the attorney general gave where he appeared to say he knew nothing of this matter? >> no. >> and that he is to have signed off on the pursuit of mr. rosen? >> no. but that's the conflating of the issues that the republicans want -- they want you to conflate those issues. if you listen to what mr. holder said, he said he knew nothing of any plans to prosecute any member of the media. and that is true. that's very different from naming in an affidavit to get a warrant before a federal judge a news reporter as a potential co-conspirator. you have unindicted
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co-conspirators all the time. the mere virtue of the fact a justice department employee named somebody as a potential co-conspirator in a case doesn't in any way contradict what mr. holder said which is there was no plans to prosecute the justice department. in is a reckless allegation that's been made. there were other reckless allegations against mr. holder in the fast and furious case. none were ever bore out. he is one of the most effective attorney generals we've ever had. i can say with relative certainly he is supported 100% inside the white house. all of these reckless allegations, again, i've been involved in a number of really serious investigations, martin. we've discussed on previous segments in the '90s dealing with impeachment and campaign finance scandals and white water. none of these issues, whether we're talking about the irs, whether we're talking about this rosen case, whether we're talking about benghazi, none of these cases have the substance of any serious scandals. none of these things i think will be around in another month or so. >> okay. well, republicans haven't been that judicious about calling for
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resignations, as you know. but now today we've got republican senator pat roberts of kansas saying the attorney general ought to step down. briefly, julian, what's your reaction to that? >> i think these are laughable. i mean, i think -- there were reckless allegations made in the fast and furious incident. the allegation that he misled the judiciary committee is totally wrong if you just read the statements and have the most basic fundamental familiarity with the facts here. you'll understand that what he said was fully consistent with what the justice department is, in fact, doing. even if there was an overreach in the fbi affidavit. >> yes. >> and i've actually had a conversation or two with mr. holder kind of in passing. i think when you hear these kind of reckless allegations made, what it does is it just makes eric holder dig his heels in. and i think it makes it more likely he'll stay for a much longer period of time. no serious independent authority is going to tell you that in fast and furious or in this case
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that there are merit to any of these reckless i lesless allega been made. >> thank you for clarifying the issue. we'll be right back. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it? summer is here, so are the savings. that's nice. post it. already did. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get 1 cubic foot bags of miracle-gro garden soil, 4 for just $10. selena is looking for a change from fast food breakfast. a serving of breakfast like this walmart is less than a $1.50. really. if your family of four switches out breakfast just one time each week, you can save over $550 a year. sounds good. smells good. save on kraft breakfast. backed by walmart's low price guarantee.
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[ male announcer ] so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. see your doctor and get checked out. thanks so much for watching this afternoon. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. fall of a viking. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. michele bachmann is quitting the congress. what is it with these people? is it congress? is it the right wing? what gives? sarah palin was the vice presidential nominee of the republican party in 2008. remember? game change? she was the game change. then she quit. left the governor's office halfway through her term. her only term. then jim demint, the guy ruling

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